MWC 2016: 3 developments to watch which impact IoT analytics Introduction

I have attended the Mobile World Congress for the last 7 years (5 of them as a speaker/panellist).

This year, I did not go. Partly, this is reflective of my change in business focus (to Data Science for Internet of Things course) .

But, also I believe that today, MWC does not reflect disruptive innovation.  The show has more than 100,000 participants but we do not see fundamental game-changing innovations likeDeepmind – Go from Google last week.

Thus, in keeping with my current focus, this blog highlights developments to watch from MWC 2016 which impact IoT analytics. From an IoT / IoT analytics standpoint – the Telecoms industry would only play a major role with  5G(beyond 2020) ex see The rise of 5G: the network for the Internet of Things  and The plans for 5g to power the Internet of Things

Before I list the areas that impact IoT analytics, here is some background. These factors have remained the same for most of the Mobile Data Industry’s lifetime

a)      Telecoms Operators only make money when Data passes through the Cellular network. That is not always the case(ex WiFi, Bluetooth etc).

b)      Telecom Operator business models are  not suited to selling other types of products(ex to Enterprise)

c)       The interface to the customer, once so prized, is now gone to Web and Social media players like Facebook

d)      Telecoms have a long history of successful engineering led standards. But these standards have not been successful at higher layers of the stack. So, again we see many players unite to launch One M2M – but the history of Telecoms standards is poor

e)      Device vendors like Samsung, Apple etc are more successful with innovation but are take an independent approach as best they can

f)       Even when Data passes through the Telecoms network, the Operator may not be able to monetize it for legal reasons(ex just because an Operator knows your location, they do not have the permission to sell you advertising)

Having said that, from an IoT Analytics standpoint, there are some areas which impact IoT data(hence IoT analytics) which are unique to Telecoms. This blog discusses three such developments which I am tracking

 

Analysis and Focus areas

1) LPWA battles

low power wide area networks are a key battleground for the industry at the moment. With the arrival of 5G years away(including 5G devices) is years away, the main players today are Sigfox and LoRa. The Operators have been forced to push LTE-M in a hurry (see Lora vs LTE vs Sigfox). The momentum is certainly with LoRa and Sigfox.

 

2) Platforms

There is no shortage of IoT based platforms including Telecoms oriented platforms like Jasper(now acquired by Cisco).  However, we will see maturity in Platforms and new partnerships. Here are three developments

Analytics platforms spanning multiple network types: Platforms ItalTel launches solutions for healthcare and Infrastructure – this is an example of a more mature platform supporting multiple network types(Sigfox and LoRa ) and even WebRTC. The platform claims to have analytics built into it.

Open Source IoT analytics platforms like Kaa IoT who were at the show and who I am following with interest

Ericsson – Amazon Cloud Deal – A deal which combines the IoT cloud PAAS vendors with the Telecoms network providers.

3) e-SIM

And finally, the eSim. I have been following the work of companies like Gemalto for a while who have long advocated the eSim technology. Today, in the age of IoT, its a technology whose time has come.

The embedded SIM (also called eSIM or eUICC) is a new secure element designed to remotely manage multiple mobile network operator subscriptions and compliant with GSMA specifications

eSim could help customers to set up and manage subscriptions on devices remotely via a single embedded SIM (eSIM) in a process which will be a lot cheaper, easier and faster without sacrificing any levels of security. There were a few key eSim announcements such as Gemalto with Jasper wireless  and also Sierra wireless and valeo on telematics

 

Conclusions

IoT analytics (Data Science for IoT) is still a nascent field and Telecoms will be a key enabler for IoT. I see the initial impact around areas like Security, LPWA and Platforms which facilitate analytics for IoT. If you want to see more of my work, please see Data Science for Internet of Things course